Many of us make plans to exercise more or to take up a new sport, but we struggle to think of ways to stay motivated. So, where do we go wrong when we start off with such good intentions?
We've got some top tips to keep the momentum going:
Don’t launch into a new exercise regime without having prepared yourself physically and mentally. Before your start date, gradually ease yourself into a new routine; do a little more exercise than normal or start to make time for your new sport or gym sessions. Start slowly.
Set realistic goals
If your ultimate aim is to run a 5km race, start with running just 1km. Then the following week try 2km. When that feels comfortable, try 3km – and so on. Build up your distance week on week.
You might start out thinking you’ll go the gym every other day, or three or four times a week. Consider whether your plans are realistic and if you really have the time. Start slowly and gradually increase your number of sessions and their intensity.
Make time to exercise
What’s the best time for your exercise routine? You might need to juggle your day in order to fit in your gym session, run or new sport. First thing in the morning is often the best time for most, while you’re feeling fresh, whereas other people might prefer to destress after a long day at work.
How to keep motivated?
Vary your exercise session. Swap a run for a swim, or a run for a walk. If you enjoy the treadmill at the gym try a walk outside instead. If you’re a regular runner try a new route. Stay safe and always let someone know where you’re going.
When will I start to see results?
After around six to eight weeks. You might find at this point that getting your exercise becomes addictive so be careful not to over exercise and cause injury.
If you’re doing sport professionally, you should train four to five times a week. For general fitness three or four sessions a week is enough.
Warming up and cooling down
Warm up with dynamic stretches; this means stretching the muscles while moving. Cool down with static stretches, standing still. Stretch calves, hamstrings, quads and biceps, triceps, deltoids and pectoral muscles if working the upper body.
No pain, no gain?
While some stiffness and a little discomfort is okay and to be expected when embarking on a new exercise regime, pain is telling you that you’re stressing your body too much. Pain will affect your motivation and could also indicate that you have caused damage. You should rest and recover and if the pain continues you should seek professional advice.
Following a sports injury, physiotherapy can help get you back on track. The Physiotherapy team at our hospital are experienced state-registered experts who aim to return patients to their maximum independence in the shortest possible time with care and professionalism.
Our team are highly skilled at assessing the underlying cause of joint, muscle and nerve pain. Get in touch to book your appointment today on 01580 363158.
Published on 13 April 2021